Latin and Central America against the bombing of populated areas
On 5 and 6 December, HI will organise a regional conference in Santiago, the capital of Chile, on protecting civilians from bombing. Twenty-six governments and some thirty civil society organisations and international NGOs will attend. The organisation hopes to raise awareness of this crucial issue and encourage States to take a stand against the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.
HI workshop in 2017 on the use of explosive weapons in populated areas for African States | © Thomas Dossus / HI
Why have we organised this conference?
HI aims to make governments aware of the use of explosive weapons in populated areas and its devastating humanitarian impact on local populations. It hopes the discussions will encourage a group of Latin and Central American States to support the drafting of a political declaration on ending this practice. Three Latin American and Caribbean States - Chile, Costa Rica and Mexico – are already part of this diplomatic process.
Who will be at the conference?
HI is expecting representatives from 26 countries, including Argentina, Brazil and Colombia.
Which topics will be discussed?
The conference will address four main topics:
- the disastrous impact on civilians - injuries and trauma, destruction of infrastructure and homes, and population displacement, for example - of the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.
- the types of explosive weapons used;
- the existing international legal framework;
- policies and practices to better control the use of weapons in populated areas.
Why target these countries?
For several reasons:
- Chile, the host country, is a member of a group of States working on a political declaration against the bombing of populated areas.
- Some countries have expertise in mine contamination and protecting civilians in conflict situations, like Colombia, one of the most mined countries in the world.
- Lastly, HI has worked in Latin America for several years and can rely on a particularly active regional network of mine/ERW survivors.